Tuesday, April 1

Faith, another chapter.

"Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you don't fast this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high." Isaiah 58:4 WEB

I spoke with a friend and brother a few days ago about the 'suffering' that I've endured in the last year, what I have 'given up' for the cause of becoming a man, husband, and father of God's making. The personal inspection of the painful past, the accountability of the mistakes of the presents, and the uncertainty of the future. How God seems so silent in these days and how much I miss His instruction.

Or do I? Too often I have had my arguments with the Holy Father of my creating, pointing out the numerous failures and attempts at 'righteousness' that I've endeavoured to be worthy of in these times. And how He seems so quiet, as if content to allow these things to be swept away in the brokenness of the world. Too often I have come to Him in prayerful expectation that things will be different; I will hold on to my job, my family, my residence, and gain the help necessary to replace my car (kept running by God's grace, I claim), the personal growth, and the wisdom of the elders. And then come back to Him the next day with the same discontentment that things aren't different and I have struggled well for long enough.

I expect others to change rather than continue to change myself; after all, I have made the effort, they haven't. I expect things to change rather than find understanding and contentment in the things I have been given; after all, the needs are many and the resources few. I expect God to answer my prayers with the power I know He is capable of; after all, I've served Him well and passionately and He's promised blessings.

I impose my will through my understanding to a God that cannot hear the whine that sounds like a piercing shrill in His ear…..

I come to God with my expectations and fast with the outcome already thought out and outlined. And God doesn't listen.

Eve did it in the Garden when she bit of the forbidden fruit. Adam followed through when he failed to stop Eve, stand firm when she followed through, and then compounded the sin of the generations by biting deeply of the same. Throughout the history of the Israelites, the people continued this tradition of expectation through prayer, fasting, and observance. And the church has taught us the same; if you do this, God will do that.

And it fails, just as it has in the past. We have learned nothing from ourselves and the lessons of the Holy God fall upon deaf ears. Yet, we expect Him to listen to us. After all, He promised.

But God is no respecter of persons. He is above all, beyond all, and the ultimate authority upon which all decisions fall, whether we want them to or not. He does what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants; pretty much what one would expect of a person who has ultimate authority in all things.

And yet we challenge Him, we expect Him to respond in a human way, and when He doesn't, we tell Him that we can't trust Him to commit to us the way we have to Him.

Upon the cross, Jesus' final moments were filled with a petition for us, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do," and a cry of anguish, "Father! Father! Why have You forsaken Me?" A man who was fully man, fully God was crucified by us for the 'sin' of coming to save us. A God, who's crime was that He so loved us that He sent His Son to us to die for the righteous sentence of sinful people that we could be redeemed, dares to tell us that we can't have things our way and explains why; because we don't know what is best or what the experiences in our life might lead to in the future.

More and more I am coming to the realization that faith isn't just what I believe, but how I relate to the Creator. My faith is growing as I realize that I am have to reach beyond my understanding of everything and rely on God's vision of EVERYTHING.

God will as God wills.

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